- Radiotherapy or radiation therapy is one of the possible treatments for cancer
- MST is the only hospital in the Netherlands to use Halcyon high-tech radiation equipment
- Patients can be treated faster and more accurately
The biggest benefit for a patient undergoing radiotherapy with the Halcyon is the duration of the treatment. “The Halcyon works around 20% faster than before”, radiotherapist-oncologist Dankert Woutersen says. “And when a patient spends less time on the treatment table, they are also less likely to move. This enables us to work even more accurately.”
Before irradiation, a kind of CT scan is done to put the patient in the right position. Woutersen: This CT only takes 17 seconds, which means irradiation can start within a minute. With a faster treatment time, we can also help more patients per day.”
The Halcyon is a radiation device that, just like a CT scanner, is ring-shaped. Its shape allows it to scan and irradiate faster than the current radiation devices. Moving parts are no longer visible. The new radiation device also makes less noise than the current devices. It is also a step forward for the caregiver, thanks to a smart control panel. The device easily guides the user through the treatment.
The Halcyon will also be used for adaptive radiotherapy later. Adaptive radiotherapy is a modern way of radiation where the radiation plan is adapted to the position of the organs in a patient, which change daily. “With adaptive radiotherapy, we can respond to these changes immediately, which reduces the chance of side effects,” Woutersen says. “It is important that this happens quickly because every minute of lying down means more movement.”
Radiotherapy or radiation is one of the possible treatments for cancer. Radiotherapy damages the DNA, the genetic material in a cell. Cancer cells divide faster than healthy cells. This makes them more sensitive to radiotherapy and damages the DNA faster. Cancer cells are also less able to recover from radiation damage than healthy cells. MST is the only hospital in the region where patients can go for radiotherapy.